IDN TLD Update

6 May 2010

Tina Dam

Following yesterday’s big news [http://icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-05may10-en.htm] with the introduction of the first IDN ccTLDs we thought it was a good time to provide an update to where the Fast Track Process is.

IDN ccTLDs in the DNS root zone:

Egypt: مصر (Egypt)
Saudi Arabia: السعودية (AlSaudiah)
United Arab Emirates: امارات (Emarat)

- in addition Russian Federation: рф (rf) is approved by the ICANN Board for delegation, and related activities are scheduled for the Russian Internet Governance Forum http://russia2010.intgov.net/eng/program.php (next week)

A big congratulation to all four countries from the ICANN Team on reaching these goals! We are very much looking forward to seeing how the market will adopt and use these IDN ccTLDs.

Also a big THANK YOU goes out to all of those in the communty that have worked on this for years. That is, those on the ground at the various registries and governments that have worked actively locally; the IDNA protocol authors for outstanding technical volunteer work for years; the policy makers for getting the processes ready; application developers for making sure that IDNs functions in all new versions of the main browsers – and so forth.

IDN ccTLDs ready for TLD Delegation:

The last step in the Fast Track Process is the delegation step. Once requests successfully meet string the evaluation criteria they are eligible to apply for delegation. This is following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs.

A total of nine (9) countries/territories are current at this stage. A full list of them, the IDN ccTLDs, and contact details are available here: http://icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion-en.htm

The languages include: Chinese, Arabic, Sinhalese, Tamil, and Thai.

IDN ccTLDs under evaluation

In addition to everything listed above, ICANN is currently processing requests from eight (8) countries/territories. As soon as these have completed the String Evaluation” criteria they will be added to the list at: http://icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/string-evaluation-completion-en.htm

IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process looking forward

As is clear from all the positive IDN news, the fast Track Process is working really well for many countries. Part of making sure that it works effectively for all users is a review of the process. This is scheduled annually, which would be 16 November 2010. Staff is currently reviewing whether a review should take place sooner.

Also, as stated in the Fast Track Process, variant TLDs cannot be introduced until a method for this is made available. Please see a previous blog post for details on work that still needs to be done on this subject: http://blog.icann.org/2010/04/update-about-synchronized-idn-cctlds/

We hope to come with a more detailed plan on this soon.

IDN usability

Finally, we continue to receive a lot of questions concerning usability. The IDNs works well. We are working on a blog post with usability examples and explanations, and will publish this shortly.

Meanwhile, if you have experience with the new IDN ccTLDs please send them to us either as comments to this blog post, or directly to me at tina.dam@icann.org

Tina Dam